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Manager watches out for safety

Sept. 27, 1996


By Lauren Grillot

Lariat Reporter

A new University employee seeks to educate faculty and students about environmental concerns on campus.

William McNair, environmental health and safety manager, said he has a new outlook and concern for the campus concerning both students and faculty.

'I do sincerely believe in safety for professors and students, and I want to ensure that professors are educating students in areas concerning the environment,' McNair said.

McNair said that in his position he works with more than six different departments across campus in designing, coordinating and managing hazardous waste, infectious waste, radioactive waste, hazardous materials, hazardous communications standards [the employee's right to know], laboratory safety standards, and air purifying respirator and self-contained breathing apparatus.

McNair said he wants to implement a training program for University employees using CD-ROM software that focuses on general safety orientation. This involves fire protection, back [lifting] safety and a hazardous communication plan that will inform all employees that they may be exposed to hazardous chemicals ranging from correction fluid to bloodborne pathogens [cuts].

Another goal is to have a network where professors are able to access a six-CD-changer program for training purposes. These programs are geared toward professors because students are not covered under University policy, he said.

Along with his other responsibilities, he said he is in charge of food inspection for the campus. He said he must perform an initial inspection before the Texas Department of Health comes each year to ensure a positive rating.

'As far as food preparation goes in this area, Baylor is the safest place to eat,' McNair said. 'The cafeterias are the best in Central Texas [and] Aramark is state of the art.'

Many students do not realize the amount of waste that the University generates, he said. Almost two tons of hazardous waste was transported in the months of July and August. Nine drums contained chemical lab materials and dirt that had been contaminated from a leaking elevator shaft.

'I'm here for service and help,' McNair said. 'I want to bridge the gap between the faculty and the academia.'

He said he has many ideas he wants to present to students and faculty. These ideas deal with increased awareness of recycling on campus, personal involvement with the Environmental Studies Program to educate students on environmental problems facing both today's and tomorrow's youth, and personal involvement with the environmental studies department and the project known as e-connections that educates grade school students in the area of environment.

'If you're maimed or disfigured, you're disfigured for life,' McNair said. 'The same mentality applies to planet Earth. If we hurt the planet, we're hurting both ourselves and following generations.'

McNair graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in science in Agricultural Economics. He has served in positions such as senior chemist and subcontract safety coordinator for Virginia Power. McNair has had more than 14 years of experience in engineering, safety, industrial hygiene, planning and scheduling, environmental analysis, chemistry and radiological control.

McNair is married and has two stepdaughters, ages 28 and 24, and a 4-year old son.

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